Will Structured Data Become A Ranking Factor?
Structured data is a little-used advanced SEO technique that makes it easier for the crawlers to understand your page content. It's been around for several years, and I am a huge fan of it, since any little thing that gives a site an edge with the Google bots is good.
Well now, Google's John Mueller came out with some interesting language last week in a Google + hangout. I first came across this news from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable.
John does a great job of using coded language to keep from committing to, or verifying anything, but the top SEO bloggers are damn good at translating these guys, so don't be surprised if we all wake up one day next year and discover that schema.org is now a ranking factor in Google's algorithm.
If that does come to pass, you'll want to see how easy or difficult it's going to be to incorporate schema into your individual web pages. Some CMS platforms are quite easy, like WordPress. Others probably present a lot of challenges.
Since structured data markup on items and events tend to be highlighted in the search engine results pages (SERPs), why not take inventory of your content now, and start planning on marking up the appropriate items this year? This way, if - and it's probably a big if - schema.org does get baked in as a ranking signal, you'll be ahead of the competition.
Some uses for schema.org, or structured data markup are:
- Locations - street, city, state, zip code
- Events - date, location, time, price
- Products - price, reviews, SKU, etc.
Other Structured Data Markup Uses
An easy way to start marking up specific items on your web pages can be found in the Google Search Console in the Other Resources section. Right now, you can use schema.org from Google Search Console for:
- Local Businesses
- TV Episodes With Ratings
- Software Applications
Google has a wizard you can use to develop the specific schema.org code that goes into your source code. Follow the wizard, then open up your web page editor and put the code into the appropriate part of each page you mark up.
Want to learn more about schema.org and other advanced SEO processes and techniques? Come to an Invenio SEO training class and see what else you can do to your web site to show up higher in search results.
If you need to learn SEO basics, we now offer online training for you!
Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!
All the very best,
Image courtesy of flickr.com